The life of a digital nomad, with the ability to work anywhere in the world, has obvious appeal and is now an option for an increasing number of people. It can also be a daunting prospect. Now, one company offers you the chance to live the digital nomad lifestyle for one month at a time.
Unsettled runs 30-day retreats in some of the world’s most amazing cities. Workers sign up and, in exchange, get private accommodation and a shared workspace in a small community of other digital nomads. The company organises local tour guides and events to get a better feel for local life, as well as taking care of some of the practical elements like airport pick-up and a local SIM card.
Co-founder Jonathan Kalan told Lonely Planet the idea initially started in 2014 when he and fellow co-founder Michael Youngblood began organising retreats for their friends in digital nomad hotspots like Bali and Curacao. “After one of the best experiences of our lives, we soon realized that while most of us could (and did) work from anywhere, we were all seeking a greater sense of community throughout our travels”, he said. They decided to build it themselves and officially launched Unsettled in early 2016.
While there are other similar co-working accommodations you can rent around the world, the company’s month-long commitment provides an excellent opportunity for people to go outside of their comfort zone. “Unsettled is a way for people to experiment with this lifestyle without taking the full plunge”, Jonathan says. “You don’t need to quit your job, sell your stuff, and commit yourself to traveling and working remotely for a year or two to join. You’re giving yourself permission to try something new, and see how it works for you.”
Upcoming retreats include cities like Medellin, Barcelona, Cape Town and Buenos Aires and they all include experiences like local mixers or urban scavenger hunts to get people out to explore their surroundings. While the cities are amazing in their own right, Jonathan says it’s more than the destinations that attract people.
“Working remotely and traveling is thrilling [but] it can also be an isolating and even lonely endeavor”, he said. “It’s the intersection of people from all walks of life, and what they share and co-create as a community during these experiences, that attracts people to Unsettled. When the month comes to a close, you’ve joined a truly global community.” There’s even been one marriage as a result of the community they’ve built!
Retreats range from US$1600 to $2400 depending on the destination and there are usually 25 to 30 people on each one. While the company says the average age is about 35 but they try and ensure there are plenty of ages, careers and backgrounds represented in every retreat. Find out more here.